We use massive amounts of batteries these days to power everything from
flashlights to cars. The used batteries are toxic and end up dumped into
landfills daily. The time is long overdue to come up with a
biodegradable batterySugar Crystals (Phot by Lauri Andler/Creative Commons via Wikimedia) that would work in most devices. That time
finally seems to be on its way as scientists work to bring a battery
powered by sugar to the public.
Researchers at Virginia Tech have developed a battery that produces energy from sugar and that packs a lot of energy. It turns out that sugar is nature's perfect substance for energy storage. This development could replace existing batteries with a cheaper, more reliable, and green alternative.
Other sugar batteries have been developed in the past, but the current version is more efficient and holds more energy than the previous attempts. According to a study published in journal Nature Communications this new battery will run longer before needing to be refueled.
The new battery could be fueling the power to our most treasured battery-powered gadgets within the next three years -- from cell phones to tablets.
Sugar (Photo by Fritzs/Creative Commons via Wikimedia)The science team constructed a pathway of synthetic enzymes that strips all charge potentials from the sugar to generate electricity in a fuel cell.
Then enzymes are used as catalyst instead of costly platinum, which is typically used in conventional batteries. The sugar battery combines fuel with air to generate electricity and water as the main byproducts. In this case maltodextrin is the fuel.
This method allows for the release of all the electron charges from the sugar solution slowly. Unlike other fuels cells, such as those powered by hydrogen or methanol, the sugar solution is neither explosive nor flammable and has a higher energy storage density.
Both the enzymes and sugar are biodegradable, and additional sugar can be added to the battery in a manner similar to filling a printer cartridge with ink.
Source: NDTV Gadgets